Remembering Chester Bennington: His Legacy Lives Through Us

By Cassidy Camp on July 24, 2017

“Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the rock band Linkin Park, was found dead Thursday according to a spokesman for the LA County Coroner.”

“The 41-year-old was found by an employee on Thursday in the bedroom of his house and while a note has not been found, the death is being treated as a suspected suicide.”

“Chester Bennington [attribuetd] his battle with drug and alcohol addiction [to] a tragic past that saw him being molested from the age of seven.”

Like so many others whose hearts have been touched by Mr. Bennington’s voice, upon seeing the news on my Facebook feed yesterday, I couldn’t help but shed tears. There is something so gut-wrenchingly difficult about hearing that someone who helped carry you through life’s toughest times came to a point where they chose not to continue to live theirs.

Chester Bennington of Linkin Park during a book signing at Borders book store in downtown Manhattan on December 14, 2004. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/WireImage)

Linkin Park’s music was so special to such a wide demographic because of its raw qualities and poignant honesty. Mr. Bennington took the most painful experiences of his life and from them created something haunting, something angry, and something relatable. His lyrics offered acknowledgement and understanding to people from all walks of life, and he brought together the people who felt like they were alone through his music. Linkin Park carved out a new kind of space for us to use as an outlet to express ourselves, one that allowed us to feel and release our hurt and anger. Mr. Bennington’s lyrics contributed to many peoples’ decisions to continue living their lives by making us feel heard and understood. In the face of this tragedy, many of us wish that we could have done the same for him.

In the wake of the heartbreaking and tragic loss of Chester Bennington, it’s important for us to recognize the severity of mental health issues and realize the gargantuan effect that trauma can have on all aspects of a person’s life. It is paramount for us to be agents of awareness and advocates for those dealing with trauma and mental health issues in our communities. It is essential that we are knowledgeable of the resources available to those who are struggling with their mental health, and that we fight to make those resources available and accessible to anyone that needs them. Most importantly, we must extend kindness and compassion to the people around us, and to present ourselves as a safe space for communication to those we care about. Though we never truly know what another person is going through, a small reminder that someone cares can make all the difference.

While we dearly miss Chester Bennington and grieve his death, his legacy will live on through his deeply moving music and the incredible impact that he’s had on the lives of the listeners and fans of his life’s work. We can honor that legacy by continuing to listen to his words and by supporting those who are also struggling with the effects of trauma and mental health issues. There are so many resources available to help locate affordable and accessible mental health treatment, namely Mental Health America, MentalHealth.gov, and if you need to speak with someone immediately, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 as well as all 911 operators. Rest in peace, Mr. Bennington, and thank you for everything you created.

Cassidy is a dual degree student at FSU in the Humanities and Editing, Writing, and Media majors. She is a bibliophile and bookworm, and you'll often see her walking to class with her nose between pages of a book. Music is an important part of Cassidy's life; she's a vocalist and a songwriter in her spare time. Cassidy aspires to attend a Master of Communication graduate program after graduating FSU and, once finished with school, strives to enter the Public Relations field professionally.

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